Monday, January 25, 2010

Our Savior, Our Helper

Sometimes I wonder where my daughter got it, then I remember that she probably got it from me.

My sweet daughter, who is also my middle child, has the trait of stubbornness. In fact, sometimes I get so frustrated with her hard headed-ness, that I just stop and stand in total confusion of how her brain actually works.

Just this weekend for example, her hard headed-ness reared its ugly head again.

She has always had long beautiful hair, all one length, but recently decided she wanted to try a new look. She had been begging me for weeks to get her hair cut, so this weekend, I finally gave in and took her to the beauty salon. She had several inches of golden locks cut off, while I quietly cringed each time one of those locks floated to the floor, and for the first time in her life, she has bangs. Who knew that bangs could bring such joy?!

She admired her new look all evening, and loved her new haircut so much.... until the following morning that is, when she had to fix her new style at home.

For some reason, which us women can understand completely, her new beloved bangs were not seeming quite so lovely. Despite her efforts, she simply could not make them look the same as the hairdresser did. But... she DOES NOT need my help. She does not need her sisters help. She does not want my advice. She does not want her sisters advice.

In fact, she would apparently rather have her hair jutting out in all directions from her head, than allow me, much less her sister, to help her learn how to fix her new hairstyle... because.... SHE CAN DO IT ALL BY HERSELF! Or so I was told, more than once.

My countless offers to help and pleas to get my hands on her bangs went ignored, as she continued to stand her ground and repeat that she did not need any help.

It got me to thinking about how much she takes after me, as I think back about all those years in my life where I spent so much time and effort trying to do things in my own power and strength and ability, instead of seeking out Gods direction, strength, and help. I began to reflect on how I once thought I was so independent, and how that pride kept me from benefiting from the help that God had to freely offer.

I think we all start out pretty hard headed in life. Babies want to learn to walk, so they can have freedom to move. Toddlers have a stubborn mindset to say the least. Kindergartners want to tie their shoes or brush their own hair without our help, because they want to do it themselves. Middle schoolers begin to exhibit more and more signs of desiring independence, and high schoolers are just a whole new league of I-can-do-it-myself'ers.

The truth is, that our human nature is such that we are born with a desire for independence, and a desire to accomplish things without the help of others. But Gods nature is such that He allows us to try to do life on our own, until we come to a point where we have nowhere else to turn, except Him.

I spent years trying to climb the corporate ladder at a place where I worked, which caused me immense stress, frustrations and disappointments, only to find out that working there was not Gods plan for me at all.

I spent years trying to strengthen my marriage through my own efforts and words, only to find out that what I really needed to do, was pray for Gods intervention and guidance.

I spent years in emotional turmoil over my sisters chronic illness, only to realize that peace and comfort, especially in the midst of heartbreak, can only from God.

I spent years living with guilt and shame over past mistakes I made in my life, and trying to fill those holes in my heart with people, things and accomplishments, only to find out that God held the key to forgiveness, compassion and healing all along.

Why do we spend so much time trying to do things in our own strength, when God already has all the answers and power that we need? Why do we think that we are capable of handling life on our own, when God tells us in His Word that He holds the key to our happiness? Why does it sometimes take us a lifetime to realize that not only do we desperately need Gods help, but that He freely offers that help the second we ask for it?

The answer is simple hard headed-ness. An extreme stubborness that becomes a hindrance in our walk with Christ, and a road block in the journey to living the life that God intended for us.

God is our helper, if we seek His help. Just to name a few, here are some verses that reiterate that fact to us:

Psalms 28:7 (NKJV) The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.

Psalms 30:10-11 (NKJV) Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper!" {11} You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,

Psalms 42:5 (NKJV) Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.

Psalms 46:1 (NKJV) God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

Psalms 54:4 (NKJV) Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life.

Psalms 60:11 (NKJV) Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless.

Have you been struggling with something in your life and despite all your best efforts, the situation is not improving? Have you found yourself at wits end with trying to make things happen in your life the way you want them to? Have you been wondering if your problem or issue can ever really be resolved because you have already exhausted every effort?

If you can relate to any of those questions, and feelings of frustration or hopelessness, maybe you have been seeking help from all the wrong places. Maybe you have been relying on your own intelligence, skills, and efforts, instead of stopping to seek Gods direction, help and divine power. Maybe you have simply been too stubborn to ask for help, even though you know you really need it.

Just maybe... you have been trying to fix your bangs all by yourself, even though God is standing right beside you, hoping that you will surrender your will over to Him, and allow Him to step in and provide the help and hope that you need.

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pipedi said...

Beautiful post! As a bangs wearer, I love your analogy :)

Lin Wilson said...

Just what I needed to hear this morning..thankyou.

Amaris in Wonderland said...

So true... :)

Just recently, someone pointed out that the old bumper sticker that says "God is my copilot" got it all wrong.

He should be our pilot, and we should release the "control" we think we have on our lives.

What we don't realize is that quite often our attempt at control is nothing short of a stranglehold, and does nothing to help us.

We have to learn to release it all, into His very capable hands (and arms).

Thank you for your insight. Love the post.

Anonymous said...

I also needed to hear this today. I have been praying about something in my life for a while and it's been like a roller coaster. At times, it's better and then it goes bad again. I've thought to myself: am i not praying enough? am i not praying the right prayer or speaking my request in the right words? why can't what i want and what i think is best in my life agree with what God knows is best? I finally admitted to myself and God the other day that I want MY plans for how things work out to be His plans too. In other words, I want Him to work things out the way I want them to be BUT I want it to be HIs will so everything will be ok. Does that may sense? It's wrong, I know, but does that make sense to anyone else? I'm really struggling right now with knowing His will for my life.

Anonymous said...

"Our Savior, Our Helper"

Hi Tracie,
Hang in there with your daughter. These years are pretty frustrating at times (I can relate)...We will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

I was reminded with this the other day: He loves our children more than we do. Helped me release the reigns a little bit. Won't go into all the details but I will just say....the event that had happened...did make him realize what His Holy Spirit was telling Him...and what does happen when we don't listen to the our Holy Spirit.(inner voice)....even put a light on for myself...when I do not listen to it all the time either. (My stubbornness too).

Dear Anonymous,
Hang in there....Would like to send you all the answers but than I am not God...but God did put us all here to encourage each of us on through our journey. So for today a hug is being sent your way...Not for sure how old you are....but this life will have many ups and downs. Through the bad times is where I found that is when he is shapening me into be more like Him.

You have made a great new step to admitting to letting your plan being his plan.

Can I have you go back now and read your quote. How many times did you write and express the I (word). You have made me realize something to today and that is how I alot of times want things MY way.

Keep praying...Remember though when Jesus taught us how to pray. In His Our Father....he does say Thy will be done.

Some Pondering:

Purification of the Soul....
The more you are afflicted the more you outht to rejoice, because in the fire of tribulation the soul will become pure gold, worthy to shine in the heavenly palace.
From: Quiet Moments with Padre Pio

Hope in God...
Do not anticipate the problems of this life with apprehension, but rather with a perfect hope that God, to whom you belong, will free you from them accordingly.

Prayers are with you...God Bless